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50th Ullr Fest, wacky winter festival like no other, and it is taking place January 6-12, 2013. During Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, don’t be surprised to see horned Viking hats adorning the heads of skiers and snowboarders, Ullympic competitors flinging frying pans for prizes, more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filling the streets for the Ullr Parade and crazy float participants skiing off jumps on Main Street or gliding along town in a hot tub. Join us to rejoice with Ullr himself. Ullr is 50TH – and is ready for a good party. In Norse mythology Ullr (pronounced Oool-er) was the winter god. He was the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor, the “God of Thunder.” Ullr loved the cold, and delighted in traveling over the country on his skis or skates. He also delighted in the chase, and pursued his game through the Northern Forests.
This annual week-long celebration of Ullr, brings to Breckenridge a legendary Main Street parade along with live entertainment, the Ullr Dating Game, a Nordic party, Ullympics and a family ice skating party. It’s a week long zany celebration for the whole family unlike any other festival anywhere on Earth!
Breckenridge Ullr Fest Celebrates 50th Anniversary Jan. 6-12, 2013
- Sunday, Jan. 6 – Crowning of the Ullr King and Queen: Toast to 50 years of fun with free beer and live music by The Luv Brothers. One Free Beer and commemorative Ullr Coin for the first 500 attendees. New location for 2013 – Breckenridge Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. FREE
- Monday, Jan. 7 – Family Snow Day (new): Bring the kids for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, indoor activities and a family-friendly bonfire at the Gold Run Nordic Center on Tiger Road. 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. FREE
- Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Ullympics: Partake in wild events such as the frying pan toss, group ski racing and ski boot relay. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on the Rivewalk Center Lawn. To sign up contact email@example.com. FREE
- Wednesday, Jan. 9 – Ullr Dating Game: Join local radio station KSMT and all the singles in town for Breckenridge’s 21+ version of the Dating Game. To apply to be a bachelor/bachelorette, call KSMT at 970-453-2234 ext. 20. Location: TBD. FREE
- Thursday, Jan. 10 – Ullr Fest parade, town bonfire and fireworks: The centerpiece of the week, the Ullr Fest parade showcases Breckenridge’s style of wild winter fun – past floats have included dogsled teams, hot tubs, a ski jump and more. Parade starts at 4:30 p.m. on Main Street. Parade entries due by January 8. A town bonfire will follow in the South Gondola Lot from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. and fireworks follow the bonfire at 7:00 p.m.. FREE
- Friday, Jan. 11 – Comedy night: Comedy Works comics descend on Breckenridge for a night of big laughs. Beaver Run Resort.
- Saturday, Jan. 12 – Ullr Fashion Show: Close out the week with a Viking-themed costume contest at the Park Avenue Pub. The event begins at 8PM with the fashion show at 9PM and judged by a panel of Ullr enthusiasts.
For more information go to www.ullrfest.com
THE HISTORY BEHIND ULLR
Ullr was so well skilled in the use of the bow and could go so fast on his skis that in these arts no one could best him. Each winter he covered the earth with snow to protect it from harm. It has been said that Ullr enjoyed the cold weather and loved traveling throughout the land, gliding along on his great skis, for pleasure and hunting.
It is also said that Ullr was such a great skier, he would streak across the sky leaving the brilliant stars as his trails (they obviously had some fine powder days). Though very skilled, Ullr guarded his knowledge closely and refused to show the other gods how to ski. Luckily for us, he let the secret out of the bag, and we will all be soon celebrating his glory. Next time you are trying to bash through some wind crust or plunge head first into fresh waist deep powder, be sure to invoke his name and remember – ULLR RULES!
One of Ullr’s travels found him in Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge seemed a likely place for Ullr to settle down, since he wasn’t looking to return to Norway any time soon. Ullr fit right in and took to the mountains. And every year, Ullr blesses Breckenridge with some of the finest snow in the world.
To repay Ullr for his gift of snow, we here in Breckenridge hold a festival to honor the god of winter. We call this little celebration Ullr Fest. This fantastic party all started back in 1963 when a few of the locals heard that Ullr was in town. Well, they wanted to let him know how much Breck appreciated Ullr’s gift of snow, so they went to the Town Council and lobbied to start…‘Ullr Dag’ (Ullr Day in English). The first few years of the event were hailed with locals honoring Ullr with gold coins, parties, skiing, and oh – don’t forget the parties.
As the years went on, traditions were formed such as the Ullr Ball, the Ullr Bonfire, the Ullr Parade, Snow Sculpting, Ullr King and Queen, the Ullympics and the Ullr Dating Game. Some traditions have stayed, such as snow sculpting, which has become its own event called the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Other traditions have gone by the wayside.
From fake currency to burning old skis in the bonfire, Ullr Fest has always been about fun and partying…and Breckenridge knows how to hold a “killer party, dude.” Just ask any of the locals.
Ullr Fest 2013 continues throughout the week with games, parties and more.